The Guijuelo ham is one of the most widely sold, as its flavour is so rich and mild that everyone likes it. Thus, do you want to know where the Guijuelo’s ham comes from and what does it make it so special? In Enrique Tomás we will share with you all our knowledge about this delicacy so that you will become a A ham expert is an artisan in ham's world, a passionate pers...!
Origin of the Iberian ham from Guijuelo
There are four designations of origin for Iberian ham (PDO): Jabugo, Dehesa de Extremadura, Valle de los Pedroches and Guijuelo. The latter is one of the most popular and, as a curiosity, one football team of the city, the Club Deportivo Guijuelo, has an equipment printed with slices of ham.
Having said the this and returning to the subject at hand, it is called Guijuelo ham because it is produced in the municipality from which it takes its name, Guijuelo, a town located in Salamanca with just over five thousand inhabitants according to the municipal census of 2017. This DO, which has existed since 1984, also covers municipalities such as Ledrada, Miranda del Castañar, Vejar, Sotoserrano, Frades de la Sierra and Tamames.
As mentioned previously, the Guijuelo designation of origin, also known as the Iberian ham of Salamanca, is one of the most popular and these Ham is one of the star products of the Spanish gastronomy, a... are produced thanks to the hind legs of authentic Iberian pigs with at least one parent of this said species, usually the mother.
It should also be borne in mind that Iberian ham can be either Iberian de Cebo or Iberian de Bellota (According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, th...). They will be “Iberian de Cebo” when the pigs be “fattened” with animal feed on the farms and they will be “Iberian de Bellota” when they will be fed on acorns and wild herbs during their last stage of life.
In order for the pigs to eat these products they have to be taken to the The Iberian Pastureland is a type of ecosystem made up of ho... to make the montanera season, but the regulations are very strict. The Montanera season is the name given to the period during which pigs graze in the pastures and meadows. It starts in October and ends around March. That’s it!
Yet, the pigs used to produce the Guijuelo ham, have they made the montanera season in Salamanca? No, they haven’t. In Guijuelo the legs of authentic Iberian pigs are cured, but they have eaten acorns in the pastureland of Ciudad Real. Once they have finished their montanera season there, they are taken to the Sierra of Salamanca, where thanks to the climate of this area of Spain, known by its long, cold and dry winters, the ham has less salt and, therefore, a more authentic flavour. In addition, as summers are usually hot, the fat infiltrates very well and, as a result of both aspects, a very oily meat full of flavor is obtained.
As another curious fact, we know that each area of Spain produces a characteristic type of mould: the Guijuelo mould is white.
The ham experts care deeply of the curing procedure of Guijuelo’s legs in the special drier storage room for at least two years so that once you try it, you won’t be able resist it! A taste as authentic as that of the Salamanca ham is not easily achieved, it is the result of a lot of care and work! So, where’s Guijuelo’s ham from? The name tells it all!